Walter Mitty is off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz!

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Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

★★☆☆☆

 

Let’s cut to the chase. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is grand. It’s the real life of Walter Mitty that is so dull. He is just daydreaming. He is so disconnected with his real life that he goes to tralalaland.

 

For the narration, Ben Stiller is amazing. The audiobook runs for less than 15 minutes with a tiny interview with Ben Stiller at the end. I actually had to listen to the book twice since I got confused with the sudden change of settings. One minute, Walter is a pilot, next his wife is nagging at him.

 

For a short listen, I could say it wasn’t a waste of time. It was ok, but I am sure in a few days, I will forget all about this. But I am curious on how the movie adaptation will work, since I am pretty certain that the movie will not just run for a mere fifteen minutes.

 

Do I recommend this book? Sure, why not? It’s free.

Dystopias are the new black. I mean, they’re trendy like my handbag.

Legend book cover

Legend by Marie Lu

★★★☆☆

Legend by Marie Lu is a dystopian young adult fiction which happens in a futuristic America, mainly in California. Kids take a test, the higher the score, the better your odds for better jobs. Kids with lower scores are sent to camp. And you don’t want to know what they do to you at camp.

This book reminds me of Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is not similar in many ways aside from it being futuristic dystopian fiction, and the test the kids take. But in both books, the test does determine their future. I have absolutely loved Divergent, so Legend seemed to be right up my alley. But no. Legend falls short.

This futuristic California is no longer known for Hollywood. The people have no idea of history. Everything is kept secret, that possession of a penny from our year would cause a lot of trouble. Also, there are plagues, but it’s all a giant conspiracy.

June Iparis is a prodigy. She has been born with wealth. She has scored a perfect 1500 on the test. You would think she would have a lot of opportunities, but she ends up a soldier. It seems like the only logical option for her. Her hobbies include climbing walls and getting in trouble. Her brother Metias is killed by the most wanted criminal Day. She is pulled out from school, and been promoted to soldier.

Daniel Altan Wing aka DAY is the most wanted criminal in all of the republic. And he’s fifteen for goodness sake. You would think that he has killed hundreds of people, but he’s just revolting against the republic and stealing some medicine here and there.

The world painted in Legend is just not logical IMHO. So if I got a high score in the test, why would I want to be a soldier? And why would the officials want to waste these smart kids on the battlefield? Why not make the people who flunk soldiers? I was born with money, why not get someone to fetch me some water? And why would the adults rely on the fifteen year old to catch the “most wanted criminal”? Why the adults send the kids to do their job? And how could June, a rich kid, survive on the slums by herself?

The development of the love story between the June and Day is eye rolling too. It’s i-just-saw-you-but-you-are-the-prettiest-i’ve-ever-seen.

With all my ranting, why did it still end up with three stars? Though the test and characters did not appeal to me much, the science-fiction part of it did work for me. The plague makes me curious enough to pick up the next book.

Ms Marie Lu, you are very pretty BTW.

So this might be the reason I don’t like boats.

life of Pi book cover

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

★★★★☆

Life of Pi is one of those books you will think about for days. It’s also one of those books that stick with you. And I know Life of Pi will stick with me for a long time. I’m also sure that other readers will agree with me since more than five hundred people has classified Life of Pi under their classics shelf on goodreads. It being published in 2003 does not classify it under classic “literally”. But with it’s quality, Life of Pi will transcend generations.

Life of Pi is spiritual and informative and (most importantly) highly entertaining and thought provoking.

I honestly cannot get over the fact that sloths can sleep for twenty hours a day. Must be good to be a sloth. Yann Martel also shares a bunch of animal trivia, which do not become tedious. They’re actually good to know.

Life of Pi is told in first voice narration. The major narrator is a writer travelling, who came across Pi’s life. Pi’s life is also being narrated by first voice, so basically, it’s about a writer who is writing about Pi’s life in first voice.

Piscine Molitor Patel was old for his age. He had the innocence of a child, but the maturity of an adult. Born as a Hindu, Pi has also embraced Christianity and Islam. Pi makes so much sense. Though hard to fathom, how can you embrace all three religions?

“Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.”

“If there’s only one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?”

He was mocked and ridiculed for this. He was told to take up more religions, since there are more days in the week than his religion. He was told to go to church on thursday, mosque on friday and synagogue on saturday.

His family decides to go to Canada aboard the Tsimtsum, with some animals Pi’s father sold to American zoos. But due to unknown reasons, the Tsimtsum sinks. Pi manages to stay afloat on a boat with an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and a Bengal tiger. But they eat each other out, until it’s just Richard Parker (the bengal tiger) and Pi left, until they reach Mexico.

Pi says another version of the story without the animals as the Japanese investigators are insisting Pi to tell them how the Tsimtsum sunk. (On the boat was a wounded sailor, Pi’s mom, the chef and Pi himself. They eat each other out, until it’s only Pi left.)*

Which story would you like to believe?

Audiobook is 11 hours and 41 minutes, narrated by Jeff Woodman. Before, I blamed myself if I did not understand the audiobook I was listening too. Apparently, all I needed was a good narrator. Jeff Woodman surely delivers as much as Yann Martel.

And that concludes my review, as I have to find the DVD version of Life of Pi. I’m off to Wal-mart!

*highlight portion with () to see spoilers, only if you are extremely interested.